SAA steals the show


South African Airways was the big winner at the second annual Business Traveller Africa Awards, held in association with Absa at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg on 20August 2013.

SAA picked up the top award in three categories – ‘Best African Regional Short-Haul Airline’, ‘Best African Long-Haul Airline’ and ‘Best Business Class’ – while the airline’s Baobab Business Class Lounge at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg was the winner in the ‘Best Airport Business Lounge’ category.

Also in the aviation sector, ExecuJet Africa was the winner in the ‘Best Air Charter’ category, which also saw Federal Air and National Airways Corporation (NAC) nominated.

In the main hotel category, the ‘Best Hotel Group’ prize went the way of Tsogo Sun, which edged out Protea Hotels, City Lodge, Sun International and Legacy Hotels & Resorts. The other hotel prizes were won by the Saxon Boutique Hotel (‘Best Luxury Hotel in South Africa) and Radisson Blu Gautrain (‘Best Business Hotel in South Africa’).

The ‘Best Travel Management Company’ category saw HRG Rennies Travel walk away with the main prize, coming out on top ahead of fellow nominees American Express Travel Services, BCD Travel, Carlson Wagonlit and Travel with Flair.

Of the other main categories, the ‘Best Car Rental Company’ award was won by Avis, ahead of Budget Rent a Car and Europcar, whilst the award for ‘Best Large Conference Venue’ was picked up by Sandton Convention Centre.

As with last year, Future Group and Business Traveller Africa magazine also handed out the ‘Business Travel Personality of the Year’, which in 2012 went to outgoing Avis CEO Wayne Duvenage, for his role as Chairman of OUTA – the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance. This year the award went to Comair CEO Erik Venter. Earlier this year saw Venter and Comair launch a High Court legal action, challenging the South African government’s latest guarantee granted to SAA. Venter led the debate and said he believed the latest and previous bailouts received by SAA did not comply with either the Domestic Aviation Transport Policy or the law in South Africa, and that he remains committed to fighting for the rights of the South African commercial aviation industry and a level playing field.

Future Group – the publishers of Business Traveller Africa magazine – in association with headline sponsor Absa and category/display partners ExecuJet, Travelport, Gautrain, Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, HRG Rennies Travel, Crowne Plaza Johannesburg – The Rosebank, Avis and Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre, hosted the event.

The full list of nominees and winners is as follows (in alphabetical order):

African Long-Haul Airline
Ethiopian Airlines
Kenya Airways
SAA (winner)

African Regional Short-Haul Airline
Comair (BA & Kulula)
SAA (winner)

Air Charter 
ExecuJet (winner)
Federal Air
National Airways Corporation

Airport Business Lounge
Bidvest Premier (ORTIA)
British Airways (ORTIA)
SAA Baobab (ORTIA) (winner)
Slow Lounge (ORTIA Domestic) 
Virgin Atlantic (ORTIA)

Business Class
British Airways
SAA (winner)

Business Hotel in SA
African Pride Melrose Arch
Maslow Hotel
Radisson Blu Gautrain (winner)
Radisson Blu Sandton
Sandton Sun

Car Rental Company
Avis (winner)
Budget Rent a Car

Forex Supplier
American Express Foreign Exchange (winner)
Bidvest Bank

Hotel Group
City Lodge Hotels
Legacy Hotels & Resorts
Protea Hotels
Sun International
Tsogo Sun (winner)

International Long-Haul Airline
British Airways
Emirates (winner)
Etihad Airways
Virgin Atlantic

Large Conference Venue
Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre
Cape Town International Convention Centre
Gallagher Convention Centre
International Convention Centre Durban
Sandton Convention Centre (winner)

Luxury Hotel
Cape Grace
Michelangelo Towers
One&Only Cape Town
Saxon Boutique Hotel (winner)
The Oyster Box

Travel Management Company
American Express Travel Services
BCD Travel
Carlson Wagonlit
HRG Rennies Travel (winner)
Travel with Flair

Travel Sales Team
BCD Travel
HRG Rennies Travel
Protea Hotels (winner)

Visa Service Provider
Blade Express
MDS VisaPak (winner)
Visa international

Business Travel Personality of the Year – Erik Venter (Comair)